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"How are you?" I asked, as though we were ordinary people having an ordinary conversation. "How am I?" "Yes Lena, how are you?" I felt I ought to repeat the question. What else could I say. Lena leant back against the wall and sighed. I hoped it was an exit cue, but she was just beginning. "Oh well," I said when she'd finished. "Ah well," she replied. We were in strange unison, an uncomfortable feeling like anaesthetic wearing off, or a memory half returning.

Lena stared at the train indicator board, I stared at her head. She wore a black felt hat. I couldn't tell the length of her hair. Or the colour. "You left," Lena said sharply but still looking at the indicator board. "Hmm," I mumbled, as I watched pages of a newspaper flounce along the track."You left," she continued, "a box, some books and a letter." "Ah," I exhaled, to suggest I remembered, when all I could recall was leaving something behind. Lena turned to face me. I glanced back to the track "I didn't open it," she said. "The box?" I queried. "No, the letter."

Lena had once told me there was something called the truth. I said I believed her, but that's not true. I didn't believe her now. The lights of an oncoming train flashed against the tunnel wall; I moved toward the worn yellow line. As the train nosed sharply out of the tunnel, I waited for the train wind to hit me.

Story by:

Kim Rooney


30 September 2016